Duke-Elon Preview

The Associated Press

Duke is on the road for a final tuneup before the start of ACC play.

It's unlikely to receive much of a challenge, however, and the crowd shouldn't be too hostile, either

With the Duke football team playing in a bowl game later on New Year's Eve, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils look to make quick work of Elon on Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C.

Playing for the first time in nine days, it took Duke (10-2) a little while to shake off the rust Saturday against Eastern Michigan. The Blue Devils shot 37.9 percent in the first half before hitting 63.2 percent of their shots after the break in an 82-59 win.

Freshman sensation Jabari Parker had a game-high 23 points - his 10th 20-point game - but it was a couple of role players that keyed the win.

Andre Dawkins made an emergency start after Rodney Hood got sick after player introductions. Dawkins made up for Hood's 17.6 scoring average, finishing with 20 points and six 3-pointers.

An ill Hood had eight points in limited minutes and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 13 off the bench for Duke, which is one of the nation's highest-scoring teams at 85.2 points per game.

''It's always good seeing everybody playing their natural roles because we're all just scorers,'' Parker said. ''Our wings can create for (themselves) and it opens up things inside for me and the other bigs.''

The Blue Devils had a season-best 47 rebounds - including 20 on the offensive end - and reserve Amile Jefferson finished with a career-high 14 boards. The sophomore is averaging 7.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last three games after averaging 2.8 points and 5.0 boards in his previous five.

"It starts with his energy," Sulaimon said. "He's very active, he's everywhere. It's contagious. When all of us lift up to his energy everybody gets easy points."

The Blue Devils, who visit Notre Dame in Saturday's ACC opener, won a 20th consecutive game over an unranked, non-conference opponent, and they've reeled off 52 victories in a row against current Southern Conference teams.

Since becoming a Division I program in 1999-2000, the Phoenix are 1-25 against ACC teams and 0-17 versus ranked opponents.

If there is any silver lining for Elon (7-6), it's at least Duke isn't ranked No. 1 like it was in the last two meetings - the only matchups since 1936. The Blue Devils defeated Elon 76-54 last December in the 25th meeting after the rivalry renewed in 2010 with Duke's 98-72 victory.

The last two meetings were at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but in this matchup the Blue Devils will be the designated road team. Mike Krzyzewski has guided Duke to a 42-14 record at Greensboro Coliseum.

The Phoenix haven't played since staving off Florida Atlantic's furious rally to win 67-62 on Dec. 22. They fell behind after leading by as much as 16, and tied the score on Jack Isenbarger's 3-pointer with 2:00 remaining. Elon closed the game on a 10-2 run.

"We're very happy with the win," coach Matt Matheny told the school's official website. "We played very well in the first half, but Florida Atlantic defended us pretty well in the second half. But it was a gutsy win and I'm proud of all of our players."

Senior Lucas Troutman averages a team-high 15.5 points and second-leading scorer Sebastian Koch is at 19.3 points over his last four games - 5.4 better than his season average.

What to Read Next